Monthly Archives: November 2017

B-I-N-G-O

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B-I-N-G-O

BINGO is basically Lord of the Flies for octogenarians. I took a client tonight, she lives in an Assisted Living Facility. They had door prizes, gift baskets and a 50/50 raffle. It was a sold out event at $20. a person plus the extra fees – dabbers, raffle tickets and additional boards. Ladies had their hair done, the nice cardigans were worn and I detected a bit of Old Spice in the air. This was a night out, it was festive.

I planned to get there half an hour before it started but afternoon traffic set me 10 minutes behind schedule. My friend was ready to go when I got to her apartment. She uses a walker so it’s never a fast hustle, more like a slow shuffle. We got to the registration table 5 minutes after it opened and we were in the first half of the crowd. It’s really important to get to these events early so my friend can sit within close proximity of her walker. She needs an end seat and 75% of the population at BINGO needed an end seat. I still move quicker than most of them so preferred seating was secured. I may have gotten some side eye from some of the residents, I pretended not to notice.

I got Helen settled and then went to the BINGO buffet to get some snacks. It always surprises me how they offer up all these high fat, sodium and carb filled options to a population which is most likely supposed to be on low-sodium or low fat diets. Whatevs, my blood pressure is fine. I loaded the plate with mini quiches, taco innards, pizza pitas, soft pretzels and mystery juice (it remains undefined with subtle notes of cranberry and institutional seltzer). Helen was happy for the pretzel and juice, I kept the rest (regret is setting in).

Back at the table I noticed the BINGO cards and instructions which included a coupon for a McDonald’s breakfast. This was a score since Helen loves their pancakes and sausage. I typically treat her to it once a week, saved myself $4.02 with that gem. That’s not all though there was also a notepad listing the contact info for the local politician that supplied the freebie. I kept flashing back to BINGO scenes from Better Call Saul.

 

There were 10 games to be played along with an intermission. The event was supposed to run from 4 – 6pm. We weren’t hearing any numbers being called until 4:45, the crowd was getting antsy. I find it interesting that these people that I see slowly, sometimes painfully shuffle through the halls, suddenly develop cat-like reflexes and hawk vision when BINGO starts. In the first 5 games, Edna, a “known gambler”, won twice. People started to talk in hushed whispers that don’t sound hushed when the hushers are hearing impaired. I could hear the chatter on the other side of the room. The host joked that Edna should be careful at intermission. Oddly enough, after intermission, it was announced that Edna donated one of her prizes to be auctioned off as another door prize. True story. I don’t know the full story on Edna and I still can’t figure out how she rigged the game.

Good news is Helen won a round in the second half. Well we both did as I made sure she was staying current. Unfortunately there was another winner for the same game. They resolve that by having each winner pull a card from a deck and the highest card wins. Helen pulled a 5, I knew we were screwed. She got a consolation prize, a certificate to the in-house beauty salon. She won’t go, she’s had the same lady do her hair for at least 30 years. She should trade it for a meal voucher. She just needs to find a neighbor in need of having her hair set and she’ll have some leverage.

The last game was a full card which is like a marathon in the BINGO world. Someone needs to complete an entire card before the game is over. I takes a solid 15 minutes. Doesn’t sound like much, but 15 minutes at the end of BINGO in a retirement home feels a bit like infinity. We powered through with minimal moaning. There was the sound of popping knees, various crackling noises and some whispered curses as people hoisted themselves up when the game ended. Helen and I managed to get a good jump on the elevator traffic and I got her back upstairs to her apartment. I’ll be bringing her some McDonald’s hot cakes and sausage when I visit again on Friday.

 

 

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Instapot is Instacrazy

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Instapot is Instacrazy

I’m always late to the party – Facebook, smart phones, Twitter – I still don’t do Pinterest (it’s for the good of humanity). I average about 3 to 7 years behind the times and I am solidly OK with that. Perhaps you’re a Luddite like me or you live under a rock and haven’t heard of the Instant Pot….it’s kind of taking over. I know you were busy worrying about American politics, healthcare, fretting over corporate conglomerates and foreign oligarchies, turn your head and look at the horror that is upon us, the Instapot (it even has a cute nickname so you’ll be lulled into a false sense of security).

Chill Bryce it’s a damn kitchen appliance, destined to gather dust and be forgotten about soon. Nay, nay my uninformed friend the Instapot is a magic pot with special powers and it’s sole purpose is to take over the world. Rumor has it that it can serve 7 functions in one easy to clean pot. According to the manufacturer and Internet lure, it can be used as a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, warming pot and can be used to brown and saute. You know what else has 7 levels – Dante’s Inferno. Draw your own conclusions.

The scariest part of the magic pot taking over the world thing is the cult following. I decided to join an Instapot FB Group about two months ago. To increase my odds of being accepted, I created posts that made it seem like I owned an Instapot  (actually the Instapot would own me, that’s how it works, amateur). People have applied and gotten into Harvard with less rejection.  Somehow I got past security and they let me in. I also belong to a Instapot Snark Group which is hands down the best thing on Facebook. The snark group would not exist if the original group wasn’t so bat sh*t crazy.

Last night I was browsing on Facebook when I saw a post on my newsfeed. The author questioned if people got upset when non-believers called her magic contraption an Instapot (gasp)? I was kind of baffled, is that short for Instant Pot or is there some secret code name like Master or Great One that we are supposed to use? The comments were coming in with lightning speed. Some were logical – “Uh, no I’m not that crazy (insert side eye).” Others were more understanding “Why yes that does bother me. Master gets upset when His greatness is not recognized (insert wide smile and crazy eyes).” The fun didn’t last long though. The administrators for that group are tightly wound – panties were bunched, feathers were ruffled and the controversial post was deleted post haste.

So as I am doing my “research” for this post…..I stumble upon something hilarious. A truly hysterical post by Paul Beer who of course wrote this over a month ago. As usual I’m late to the party. You’ve been warned.

http://www.cbc.ca/comedy/i-am-your-god-now-by-instant-pot-1.4362460

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh Gag Me (Gifts)

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Oh Gag Me (Gifts)

Are you like me? Do you hate shopping with actual people, in real stores? Rest, my anti-social friend….grab a cup of whatever you drink and join me. I hate shopping. I have been concerned that my woman card would be taken from me over this but so far, so good. I have varying degrees of hate for shopping. My worst nightmare excursion would be Black Friday shopping at the King of Prussia Mall. Online shopping, not so bad.

Buying gifts is tricky business and I lack in the consistency department. I love it when I find what I think is the perfect gift for someone. It’s a great feeling when you know you’ve nailed it. Sadly that doesn’t happen often – most times I’m winging it, hoping the gift is practical or appropriate. One thing I actually enjoy shopping for is gag gifts. This time of year they are “White Elephant” gifts. The price limits vary by event – I’ve noted some of my personal favorites. Sorry for the Amazon links….I’ve accepted that Jeff Bezos is the New World Leader (Prime Member y’all):

The People of Walmart 2018 Calendar – This is tacky perfection that I didn’t know existed…I may have squealed a little when I stumbled on this – https://www.amazon.com/2018-People-Walmart-Boxed-Calendar/dp/1492650013/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&linkCode=li3&tag=whiteelephant03-20&linkId=f110107df92005e72407d997d653f907

Adult Coloring Books – I still don’t know how this crap caught on and yet here we are – coloring books for grownups is a thing. I prefer the ones with naughty words and plenty of snark. These vary in intensity – I’ve selected one of the tamer versions. https://www.amazon.com/Make-Life-Your-Bitch-Motivational/dp/1540633616/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1511562498&sr=1-11&keywords=adult+coloring+books

Beer Belly Fanny Pack or Belly Pack – This has a bit of an ick factor and really who would actually use this – still it’s funny. https://www.ericdress.com/product/Ericdress-Creative-Beer-Belly-Design-Dad-Waist-Pack-12999109.html?currency=USD&gclid=CjwKCAiAo9_QBRACEiwASknDwW-NNDAcreP8oSD-no0-lLm_wq7-YuEKjVIS4KtiKWupPSp_5byUUxoCZSMQAvD_BwE#5420834&tb_from=paid_adwords_shopping&adword_mt=&adword_ct=93280202675&adword_kw=&adword_pos=1o3&adword_pl=&adword_net=g&adword_tar=&adw_id=7162179455_351227435_24926471315_pla-66403242728

Sarcastic socks – These make me unreasonably happy. The possibilities are endless – If you can read this….Fetch me wine/chocolate/Xanax (I made that last one up) and a plethora of pretty socks with curses on them (why yes I do own several pairs)….sadly this one is sold out. https://www.joyofsocks.com/products/i-hate-everyone-too-socks-womens?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googlepla&variant=37611290561&gclid=CjwKCAiAo9_QBRACEiwASknDwTa7No5yNPUF-lvyktQjos9yfkSpkhF-OKXXwOI_RpvwR7_NqFDhPhoCWLUQAvD_BwE

Tipsy Elf – I spent an obscene amount of time looking at their offerings today. Perfect for the ugly sweater holiday party. I like the sweater with Santa’s face which has – “Ask Your Mom If I’m Real” framing Santa’s face. Lots to choose from here if you’re so inclined. https://www.tipsyelves.com/?gclid=CjwKCAiAo9_QBRACEiwASknDwWJcdAFBqCVIi8IJ5Yewv85sOZN1yWHhHVoU147Ny-szfmJEBiBUHhoC6mUQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

And bonus – you can buy any of these items online, like God intended. Happy-Whatever-You-Celebrate.

 

 

 

Traditions…

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Traditions…

Every year sometime after November 1st,  I watch Home for the Holidays. It came out in 1995 and was directed by Jodie Foster. This movie hits all the feels for me. It is perfectly cast – the writing is authentic, funny and heartbreaking at times. It is my favorite movie of all time. I usually watch it alone because this blend of humor and poignancy isn’t a hit with all of the humans here.

I make time for it every year since I discovered it in 2000 when I found a used copy on VHS at a store on Hollywood Boulevard. That year my twin brother moved to California and was sad to be so far from home at the holidays. I was single and kid free at the time, so I scraped up the cash for a ticket to LA. We hung out for a few days until I left late on Christmas Eve.

My family likes to watch Trains, Planes and Automobiles. It’s on a repetitive loop between late October and Christmas. This is one we all belly laugh to even though we know it verbatim. My kids are finally old enough that I don’t have to mute the scene where Steve Martin loses his sh*t at the car rental counter. It’s amazing to see how much some things have changed (no laptops, cell phones or tablets) and how the important stuff remains (being kind, family, dealing with adversity).

 

Of course we got sucked into the Elf on the Shelf scam about 5 years ago. My kids were young enough when we started that they believed in it for the first year or two. I’d fall asleep and wake up in a panic when I’d remember that I forgot to move Flash. In my mind I call him Jumpin’ Jack Flash because I feel like less of a dork for buying into the whole ridiculous scheme (humor me). Now my youngest moves it around because I’m lazy and tired most nights. We aren’t ready to let it go completely, yet.

Image result for elf on the shelf memes

We also adopt two children to buy gifts and clothes for during the holidays. We buy for one boy and one girl. I try to get kids the same age as my children. This one is sacred to me. The Christmas my brother and I were 7 years old, a Secret Santa made a delivery to our apartment.

I have never forgotten the kindness of that act and how happy it made me feel as a kid. I remember standing in the kitchen with my mother and brother as we emptied the overflowing hefty garbage bag. It was full of gifts – Candy Land, toy trucks and gastronomical delicacies, like Peanut Butter and Fluff. It was truly magical and I want to sprinkle some of that around and teach my kids through actions, not just words.

As for hosting, I get all the holidays. It’s practical as we have the largest dinning room. I have also taken on the task of serving seven fishes on Christmas Eve. It is a nod to my mother-in-law who passed away when my children were young. I didn’t have strong roots or family traditions growing up and I welcome the opportunities to give that to my kids. What I really try to give them is memories. That is the point of this entire holiday thing – making memories with your family and friends. Something that will last beyond a turkey carcass and some crinkled, torn wrapping paper.

Image result for italian christmas meme

Tell me some of your traditions….what do you love to do during the holiday madness?

 

Not Today Satan.

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Not Today Satan.

I own my crazy, do you? Let’s face it we are all a little nuts and the ones who think they are 100% A-OK are usually the most F’ed up among us. Don’t ask me to back that up with science and stats, it’s a personal theory based on decades of life experience. The truth is sometimes my brain is an over ripe imagination machine that can make something enjoyable frightening as hell.

Perfect example, last night I took a steam shower. When we bought this house 8 years ago we did some renovations. Top of the list was pimping out the master bath. It’s my favorite room in the house. Travertine heated floors, a disco tub complete with whirlpool jets and lights – the only thing missing is a silver ball hanging from the ceiling. We also turned our shower into a car wash – multiple shower heads, barrel ceiling and a steam shower. In the time that we have lived here I’ve never taken a steam shower but last night I decided to give it a go.

It started out nice enough. I set the timer for 10 minutes and put the shower on to wash my hair before the steam took over. About 3 minutes in, the steam was on full blast and the thoughts in my head shifted from relaxation to Stephen Kingesque horror scenes.

First, I imagined a poisonous gas being mixed with the steam, it was hard to breath in there. Seriously, it was hot as hell and taking a deep breath took effort. I started to question why the hubs was so enthusiastic about me test driving the steam shower. Then I remembered that he still doesn’t do his own laundry and only gets his dishes to the sink about 20% of the time. He can’t possibly face the teen girl drama that awaits us for the next 7 years. Bottom line, he’s too cheap to replace me with a maid and a nurse and we still like each other most days. It’s not likely that he is trying to kill me, so I let that freak thought go.

The next gift from my imagination fairy was scorpions and deadly snakes. Keep in mind we don’t live in a climate where scorpions and deadly snakes are ubiquitous, my brain does not care. I knew the thoughts were ridiculous but that did not stop them from assaulting me. At one point I actually said “not today Satan” out loud and resisted the urge to stamp out imaginary deadly invaders.

Somehow I made it through the 7 minutes of terror with nary a bite or sting. I may have sweated off a pound of water weight so not an entirely bad experience. When we were getting ready for bed my husband asked me how the steam shower was….I made the mistake of telling him the insane thoughts that went through my brain. He just got a quizzical WTAF look on his face and I know he was wondering how his analytical mind underestimated my crazy two decades ago. Too late suckah!

Pain in the Ass….

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Pain in the Ass….

So I have a legit pain in my ass. Somehow I injured my coccyx.  No I haven’t grown a man part, that’s my tail bone you filthy animal. It’s been hurting since May, I blame it on Pilates. That was the only thing new about my exercise regime. There was a lady in the class who was at least 20 years older than me and she had the flexibility of double-jointed ballerina. I was the clumsy one who couldn’t roll my feet over my head in a smooth, controlled motion. My moves were more Frankenstein and less Cirque du Soleil. C’est la vie. I kind of sucked at Pilates so quitting that wasn’t a huge sacrifice. I stopped going, thinking the problem would alleviate, it hasn’t.

I’m not incredibly observant when it comes to my own body’s aches and pains. I prefer the ignore-it-and-maybe-it-will-go-away approach. I couldn’t ignore the pain which was my constant companion when we went to see Jim Jeffries in May. That’s how I know when this whole mess started. The show was great but I was in considerable pain, sitting is my current Kryptonite. I found that out about 15 minutes into the two hour show. I kept switching seated positions, like an overactive toddler that has to pee all the time. The roll over to one cheek method helped, but it made it look like I had to pass gas all night.  Not the vibe I wanted to achieve while out with a group of my husband’s friends and their wives.

Still, I’m not one to run to the doctor. I did my research online. Bryce Warden, MD (Medically Deficient) I scoured the internet to find out what was wrong with me. Web MD suggested a bruised or fractured coccyx, it sounded right. In July, I finally hauled my aching ass to the doctor and she ordered an x-ray.

Feeling very adult for going to the doctor, I sat in the parking lot of the doctor’s office reviewing the paperwork. Fun fact, x-rays of the sacrum/coccyx area require an enema prior to the x-ray. Good times. Having never had an enema before I was back to research mode to get some pro tips from those who have “gone” before me. My husband and I had a brief conversation about this.

Me: “I need to have an enema before the x-ray.”

Hubs: “I’m not giving it to you.”

Me: “Damn right, you’re not.”

And we have preserved our sex lives a little longer, perhaps until one of us winds up in Depends. I got the gist of what needed to be done and took matters into my own hands (ass). Got the x-ray and no fracture was detected. That was in July, surely this thing will improve, I hear it “takes time”. Pro tip – if someone tells you that something “takes time”, buckle up you’re in for a bumpy ride and that person likely has no flippin’ idea of how much time it actually takes.

End of October, I’m back at the doctor because this thing isn’t letting up. I’ve tried ice/heat, I sit for maybe 5 minutes at a time unless I’m driving. In the car I have one of those sexy donut pillows. The pain just won’t let up. So I get sent to physical therapy.  The place I went to had a bunch of tables, random gym equipment – treadmills, exercise balls, etc. and the median age was 83. The staff brought the median age down to 83 as most of the therapists looked to be about 12. That’s a sign you’re getting older when people in their twenties look like middle schoolers, sigh. Anyhow, I fill out 50 forms, am reminded of how shitty my insurance is and realize this will be an out-of-pocket expense.

I’m committed to try it at this point and am introduced to my Physical Therapist named Chris.  Chris is a good-looking guy, maybe 23 years old? We go into a room to discuss my “problem”. Let me just explain something….this may sound sexist, I don’t care. Midlife men tend to see younger attractive females as bait or a conquest. I know some midlife women act similarly with younger guys hence, the term cougar. I am not a cougar, an alley cat or any kind of wanna be predator. I saw Chris and thought, I wonder if my son will look like this guy in 10 years. That’s right, so in my mind this guy could be my son in 10 years.

Chris takes my history with copious notes. He then proceeds to examine me which includes extensive handling of my ass. There is really no other way to describe it. It wasn’t sexual he was just doing his job. But dear God it was awkward. I’m doing exercises, hoping to not pass gas while this guy is kneading my backside. Then at the end of the session, I am placed belly side down on a table in a common room. Electrodes are placed directly on my butt cheeks and the current is cranked up to whatever level I could handle. Then, an ice blanket is placed on the offending area. As I’m lying there, freezing my ass off, I thought is this some middle-aged hazing ritual? Did AARP set this whole thing up? Is there a hidden camera somewhere? ……And my ass still hurts.